Association Leadership - May/June 2018 - 30

Are Cover Letters
Still Relevant in
the Digital Age?
By Shelly Trent, CAE, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
If you question whether to send a
cover letter with a resume, you are
not alone. Many people believe that
recruiters don't read cover letters, so
they don't provide one when applying
for a job. But, are you missing out
on the opportunity to sell your
communication skills? Yes!
Think about it: Nearly every job
posting states that the organization
seeks applicants with excellent
communication skills. A cover letter
allows you to showcase not only
your writing ability, but your ability to
persuade the reader to hire you.
After working in the field of human
resources for most of my career,
I can tell you that, although there
are some recruiters who don't read
cover letters, the majority of HR
professionals (and the C-Suite) DO
read them. This is your opportunity to
stand out from the other applicants.
Even if the online job application only
allows you to upload one document,
make your cover letter the first page
and your resume the second page of
a single document.
Your cover letter should not simply
say, "As you can see in my resume
..." Show the reader exactly how
you and your experience match the
requirements listed in the job posting.
Don't force the reader to look through
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your resume to find out how you are
qualified. Prove it in the cover letter.
For example, if the posting states
that applicants must have a bachelor's
degree, three years of experience in
marketing, the ability to speak Spanish,
and experience with Excel, your cover
letter can say something like this:
"My experience and education is an
exact fit for your job requirements. I
hold a Bachelor of Science in Business
with a minor in Spanish, and studied
abroad in Madrid for a semester. In
addition, I earned a certificate for
completing an advanced Excel course
and use Excel on a daily basis. For the
past four years, I have been employed
as a marketing assistant by XYZ
Association."
See how that works? The reader
knows that you are the perfect fit in
one paragraph! This is not to say that
your cover letter should contain only
one paragraph, but it should show
how you meet all of the requirements.
Further, you can show that your past
experience in marketing will benefit
them in a specific way or with a certain
product, based on your research of the
organization. You might also tell about
how you will fit in with their corporate
culture. For instance, if the organization
works with a certain charity, you could
mention that you volunteered for that

charity during college. Use the cover
letter to show your initiative to learn
about the organization.
Be sure to address your letter to
a person, and never use "To Whom
It May Concern," or "Dear Sir or
Madam." A quick Internet search will
allow you to find out the name of the
Human Resources Director. Further, if
you have an employee connection at
the company, mention that in the first
sentence: "My good friend Joe Brown,
an employee in your accounting
department, suggested I would be
a good candidate for this position."
Recruiters appreciate employee
referrals! If Joe Brown is an excellent
employee, there is an assumption that
Joe's friends will be as well.
Here are a few additional tips about
writing cover letters:
Use a standard business-style
format.
Address letters to a particular
individual, and use his/her correct
job title.
Use the full mailing address of the
organization.
Scan in your signature and use it in
the signature line of letters.
Always send a letter with a résumé,
never a résumé alone.
Don't plagiarize letters out of books
or from online sample letters. One
employer I know recognized a letter
he received had been taken word
for word from an online sample.
Provide examples of a few of your
accomplishments
Be sure there are no typos or
incorrect grammar!
Don't submit the same letter for
every job. Every letter should
be specific to how you meet the
requirements for that position.
A well-written cover letter is a
great way to make a positive first
impression and can get you an
interview more effectively than a
resume alone. Good luck with your
job search, and be sure to submit a
cover letter for every application
you submit!


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Association Leadership - May/June 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Association Leadership - May/June 2018

Homepage
60-Second Solutions
Ask a Hotelier
Tech Talks Recap
What Every Association Professional Needs to Know About Advocacy
Are There Blind Spots in Your Sexual Harassment Policies?
Email Phishing in the New Wild West
Identifying Email Risks to Your Association
Harness the Power of Your Publication
Meetings Minute
Destination Planner
New Members
Index to Advertisers
Backpack to Briefcase
Association Leadership - May/June 2018 - Intro
Association Leadership - May/June 2018 - cover1
Association Leadership - May/June 2018 - cover2
Association Leadership - May/June 2018 - 3
Association Leadership - May/June 2018 - 4
Association Leadership - May/June 2018 - 5
Association Leadership - May/June 2018 - 6
Association Leadership - May/June 2018 - Homepage
Association Leadership - May/June 2018 - 60-Second Solutions
Association Leadership - May/June 2018 - 9
Association Leadership - May/June 2018 - Ask a Hotelier
Association Leadership - May/June 2018 - 11
Association Leadership - May/June 2018 - Tech Talks Recap
Association Leadership - May/June 2018 - 13
Association Leadership - May/June 2018 - What Every Association Professional Needs to Know About Advocacy
Association Leadership - May/June 2018 - 15
Association Leadership - May/June 2018 - 16
Association Leadership - May/June 2018 - 17
Association Leadership - May/June 2018 - 18
Association Leadership - May/June 2018 - 19
Association Leadership - May/June 2018 - Are There Blind Spots in Your Sexual Harassment Policies?
Association Leadership - May/June 2018 - 21
Association Leadership - May/June 2018 - Identifying Email Risks to Your Association
Association Leadership - May/June 2018 - 23
Association Leadership - May/June 2018 - Harness the Power of Your Publication
Association Leadership - May/June 2018 - 25
Association Leadership - May/June 2018 - Meetings Minute
Association Leadership - May/June 2018 - Destination Planner
Association Leadership - May/June 2018 - New Members
Association Leadership - May/June 2018 - Index to Advertisers
Association Leadership - May/June 2018 - Backpack to Briefcase
Association Leadership - May/June 2018 - cover3
Association Leadership - May/June 2018 - cover4
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